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The Railways will roll out a high-power electric locomotive early next year which will be used to haul freight trains at twice the existing speed. The public transporter is looking to manufacture 800 such train engines over the next 11 years in a joint venture with French giant Alstom, at the Madhepura Locomotive Factory i


Bihar. This is the first major FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) project in the rail sector, said a senior Railway Ministry official


The first such locomotive, estimated to cost about Rs 30 crore, will be assembled with components brought in fro


Alstom’s factories in France and will have its trial run by February next year. The 12,000 HP (horsepower) locomotives will help in speeding up movement of goods by increasing the average speed of freight trains from 25 kmph to 50 kmph. The Railways is currently using 6,000 HP locomotives for freight services


The increase in speed would also result in improving line capacity in the rail network, the official said. As per schedule, 35 locomotives would be rolled out from the factory by 2020, 60 in 2021, followed by 100 every yea


till the target of 800 is completed


The Railways had awarded the Rs 20,000 crore project to Alstom in November 2015 after the commissioning of the factory in Bihar. The FDI component in the Madhepura project is about Rs 1,200 crore


A total of five locomotives will be assembled at the factory by 2019, and rest will be manufactured as per th


‘Make in India’ initiative. “The project is running on course and we are looking forward to delivering the first locomotive from our new factory in Madhepura early next year,” said Alstom India Managing Director Bharat Salhotra


The Madhepura locomotive factory is coming up on 250 acres of land in Bihar. Besides the plant, a township will

also be built for its employees.


Source:ie Business

World’s biggest small commodity wholesale market and with deep bonds with Indian traders is now keen to invite big names in Indian business world including TATAs to invest in the dynamic business hub. 


Sheng Qiuping, Secretary General of Yiwu Committee of the Communist Party of China was recently in India and met top names from Indian industry and businesses in both Delhi and Mumbai with an eye on inviting them to China’s business hub. “My mission is to deepen and widen businesslinks with India. It is not just exports and imports, I want to invite big Indian investors to Yiwu,” Sheng told ET.


Shen, deeply impressed with India on his first ever visit, informed that there are currently 3000 small Indian traders in Yiwu and there are 314 Joint Venture initiatives between Indian and Chinese companies in Yiwu. 


The party leader now hopes that Yiwu will have faster connectivity mode of transport for better connectivity and subsequent trade. 


As one of the largest, most influential and most productive commodities trade show in China, 2017 Yiwu Fair Spring - Imported Commodities Fair is currently ongoing between May 6-9 at Yiwu International Expo Center (YWIEC). Several Indian companies are part of this far. 


Every year, around 400,000 Indian businessmen visit Yiwu, accounting for three out of every four foreign businessmen in the city. In 2014 Yiwu shipped $750 million worth of goods to India more than any other country.In 2015, Yiwu shipped goods worth $33.8 million to the world. Of it, export to India stood at $18 billion -- a whopping increase of 69 percent from 2014. 


Yiwu capital of Zhejiang province in east China sells 1.8 million goods to about 200 countries through its 75,000 shopping booths spread in an area of 5.5 million square metres. 


It is said it will take a year to visit all the shops if one walks eight hours every day and does not spend more than three minutes at each shopping booth. Yiwu has it all, ranging from socks to gimcrack toys, and from artificial flowers to fancy wall clocks. 


Source:The Economic Times

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious plan to build homes for all Indians by 2022 could spark an economic revolution worth $1.3 trillion, which is a little more than Mexico’s GDP


Between 2018 and 2024, some 60 million new homes are set to be built, mostly under the government’s affordable housing programme, as Asia’s third-largest economy looks to upgrade its people’s quality of life


This is expected to create over 2 million jobs annually and add up to 75 basis points to India’s GDP, brokerage firm CLSA said in a report last week.“The housing sector is at a tipping point and will be the economy’s next big growth driver,” the report said. “The catalyst is the government’s big push for an ambitious housing program.


Since coming to power in 2014, Modi has focussed on expanding affordable housing. In June 2015, he announced his mission to construct 20 million homes across the country by 2022. In February 2017, for the first time, India gave the affordable housing sector infrastructure status, which will incentivise and subsidise it, besides ensuring tax benefits and institutional funding


Last December, as Indian banks’ coffers filled up with cash following the demonetisation of high-value currency notes, the government launched two schemes to make it easier for the poor to access housing. First, it offered a discount of 4% on the interest rate for loans of up to Rs9 lakh for low-income individuals building homes. For loans worth up to Rs12 lakh, the interest rate was to be discounted by 3%. Secondly, in rural India, Modi promised a 3% interest waiver on loans up to Rs2 lakh to modify a house


The report came shortly before India put into effect a new law aimed at regulating the real estate sector. Under the new law, each state and union territory in India will have its own regulator. It also requires companies to create an escrow account, where 70% of the money collected from the buyers of under-construction homes will have to be deposited. This money can only be used for the construction of the project.Overall, things have been looking stable for the industry for a while. “In the past five years, mortgage rates have dropped 250 basis points, property prices have remained broadly stable and per capita incomes have posted a 10% CAGR,” the CLSA report said


Now, the stage seems set for a real takeoff for realty.


Source:Quartz Media

India's growth is expected to rebound to 7.2 per cent in the 2017-18 fiscal and 7.7 per cent in 2018-19 after disruptions caused by demonetisation, the IMF said on Tuesday, while recommending the removal of long-standing structural bottlenecks to enhance market efficiency


The temporary disruptions (primarily to private consumption) caused by cash shortages accompanying the currency exchange initiative are expected to gradually dissipate in 2017 as cash shortages ease, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its regional economic outlook.


Such disruptions would also be offset by tailwinds from a favourable monsoon season and continued progress in resolving supply-side bottlenecks, the IMF said. The investment recovery is expected to remain modest and uneven across sectors as deleveraging takes place and industrial capacity utilisation picks up, it noted


"In India, growth is projected to rebound to 7.2 per cent in FY 2017-18 and further to 7.7 per cent in FY2018-19," the IMF said


"Headwinds from weaknesses in India's bank and corporate balance sheets will also weigh on near-term credit growth. Confidence and policy credibility gains, including from continued fiscal consolidation and anti-inflationary monetary policy, continue to underpin macroeconomic stability," the IMF said


The IMF maintains a positive outlook on the Indian economic growth and is confident that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation will be smooth


ALSO READ:  India to grow 7.5% next year on higher infra spending, says U


"India is one of the countries that have excellently performing reforms and that is one of the major reasons for the country to maintain one of the highest economic growth rates (in the world)," said Changyong Rhee, director for Asia and Pacific Department at IMF at a press conference in Singapore after presenting Asia and Pacific Regional Outlook report


Touching on GST, he said, "We have been working very closely with India in preparing the introduction of GST. I am very confident that India has prepared the GST introduction in the past couple of years.


He pointed out that implementation of such tax system remains very challenging especially preparation of system integration between the government and the business sectors


According to the report, growth in Asia is forecast to accelerate to 5.5 per cent in 2017 from 5.3 per cent in 2016


Growth in China and Japan is revised upward for 2017 compared to the October 2016 World Economic Outlook, owing mainly to continued policy support and strong recent data


Growth is revised downward in India due to temporary effects from the currency exchange initiative and in South Korea owing to political uncertainty. Over the medium term, slower growth in China is expected to be partially offset by an acceleration of growth in India, underpinned by key structural reforms


According to the report, in India, improving productivity in the agriculture sector, which is the most labour-intensive sector and employs about half of Indian workers, remains a key challenge


More needs to be done to address long-standing structural bottlenecks and enhance market efficiency, including from liberalising commodity markets to giving farmers more flexibility in the distribution and marketing of their produce, which will help raise competitiveness, efficiency, and transparency in state agriculture markets, it said


In addition, input subsidies to farmers should be administered through direct cash transfers rather than underpricing of agricultural inputs, as such subsidies to the agriculture sector have had large negative impacts on agricultural output, the IMF said.


Source:Business Today

Following the launch of New Delhi’s Look East policy in the 1990s, India and Taiwan gradually moved towards building informal ties. The latter sought to develop military and strategic cooperation with India in order to counter mainland China, especially during the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government in 2001. India, however, opted for caution and preferred not to antagonise Beijing


Ties with Taiwan have, however, received a boost with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Act East policy and the New Southbound Policy initiative of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. Having made a strong pitch for participating in Modi’s initiatives on ‘Make in India,’ ‘Skill India’ and ‘Smart Cities’, Taiwan is well poised to collaborate with New Delhi in its push for promoting manufacturing and infrastructure technology, including hardware aspects of the infotech (IT) industry


The process would potentially create tens of thousands of jobs in India by utilising Taiwan’s formidable expertise in low-cost housing and help augment indigenous capacity for ship building and commercial fishing. Taiwan’s decision to launch its indigenous submarine project should also interest India as part of a long term policy


There are plans for setting up manufacturing bases in information and communication technologies, consumer electronics, automobile parts etc. India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) signed a memo with Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association to promote cooperation and investment between the two countries in electronic system design and manufacturing


Taiwan has been pushing for an accord on the lines of a free trade agreement. For instance Taiwanese multinational Foxconn, which manufacturers the iconic Apple iPhones and iPads, proposes to set up manufacturing, research and development operations in India. The company signed a MoU with Maharashtra in 2015, pledging to invest $5 billion over five years. It was the first major FDI proposal after Modi launched his ‘Make in India’ scheme


A simple initiative which will nonetheless immediately encourage Taiwanese businessmen and raise the profile of India-Taiwan commercial ties are separate visits by our HRD and commerce ministers. The focus on building economic ties should give no cause for offence to Beijing, which itself has hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese businessmen residing, working and manufacturing on its soil


The other area where Taiwan can be of assistance is in education. It has good technological institutions and excellent facilities for teaching Mandarin. Taiwan is among the best China watchers and one willing to host Indian military students at its National Defence University (NDU). India can gain by strengthening educational ties with Taiwan, which already offers numerous scholarships to Indian students


India has signed agreements with South Korea, the US and Japan for freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, maritime security and in maintaining regional stability in the Asia-Pacific. Taiwan shares their strategic objectives in the region and has approached Japan and South Korea for a partnership. Taiwan controls Itu Aba, the largest island in the Spratly chain, along with the Pratas Island, which controls the South China Sea’s northeast exit. This makes Taiwan an important ally for not only furthering India’s interest in east Asia but also for monitoring China’s expansion in east Asia


But it has not been smooth sailing all the way. Miffed with Taiwan over its pursuit of an independent course, China has been discouraging its allies South Africa, Nigeria and Cambodia from interaction with Taiwan. Recently Cheng-yi Lin, a Taiwanese minister responsible for mainland affairs, said: “Beijing will try to block our New Southbound Policy only because they will like to see Taiwanese investments go to mainland China and not to diversify our outgoing investments.” Similarly, Beijing warned New Delhi against playing the ‘Taiwan card’ when a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation visited India in February 2017


Some foreign ministry mandarins maintain that New Delhi should play the ‘Taiwan card’ and make China adhere to a ‘One India’ policy. Others feel that the MEA, following in the footsteps of previous governments, should obtain advance sanction from Beijing for projects with Taiwan. Given that India strives to chart an independent foreign policy course, it is not desirable that India seek Chinese approval or keep China in the loop about its dealings with Taiwan when Beijing itself deeply engages with Taipei


The deepening of India-Taiwan relations is mutually beneficial for both countries and the possibilities of such a relationship can encompass strategic, defence, people to people, education and economic ties.


Source:The Times of India